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Crawford played phenomenally this season and just seemed to get better and better as the season went on. I mean seriously, that game 7 performance was just off the charts - Vancouver probably should have had 3 or 4 goals in the 3rd period alone but Corey just kept turning them away. There is one point though that you did not bring up concerning the Niemi vs Crawford decision in the fall of '09. The 'Hawks could send Crawford back to Rockford with no repercussions last year, but they were out of AHL options with Niemi so to send him back down he would have had to clear waivers first. My understanding is that management had fairly equal opinions on both goalies and the fact that Niemi would have had to clear waivers was one of the major deciding factors. It certainly appears to have worked out, though, because while Niemi led us to the cup I liked what I saw from Crawford this year much more than anything Niemi ever showed. Let's lock him up soon before some jacka$$ team like the Islanders tries to screw us by tendering him (or another player like Frolik or Campoli) an offer sheet like the Sharks did with Hjalmarsson last year
Thanks for noting the "options" point, Pete, which I failed to do. That would even support the arguement more of Crawford possibly being up last year rather than Niemi. If they both had the same options, and everyone believed the two to be on equal footing, what's to say Crawford doesn't get the nod as Huet's backup? Thanks for the comment as always, Pete.
It's funny how many fans who just became interested in the hawks the last few seasons, (And there's nothing wrong with that), still think the Hawk organization got rid of players to save money. The same organization that ate about 6 million clams of Huet's contract so they could rebuild the salary cap decimated team. At the time, I much preferred losing Niemi than Hjarlmarrson. Hopefully Niklas rebounds next season. I don't think anyone will want to pay him $3.5 mill the next few seasons. i've always liked Crawford and early in the year wrote that I hoped this was the year he claimed the pipes - mission accomplished. Now we can only hope he doesn't have Niemi's agent. It's nice to see someone give credit to Bowman once in awhile, although there certainly have been some lame-brained moves. Can you imagine what would have been done to Stan if Crawford hadn't stepped up to the plate? The Niemi decision would have gone down in the annals of hockey as one of the worst GM decisions ever. I think a lot of people forget Crawford was a high draft pick - the Hawks new he had game. I don't think anyone anticipated just how well he'd play this season though. Regardless, I'm thinking the days of paying over $4 million for a net minder are gone. Finland keeps spitting out goal tenders like a politicians promises.
Hey, Bartl, now that you have to change your blog, you have two options. Go with the Lovabulls for a couple more weeks until the Truth steamrolls them or just do it and go full-time Bruins. How do the B's matchup with the Canucks? Is Jack Edwards the greatest story teller of all-time? Those are questions you can start with, If Yaaaaaa Smmmelllllll, what Claude is Cookin'.
Rather than discussing the Bulls, the C's should be thinking about LeBron. And since Claude was coaching for his job last night - much like Alain Vigneault against the 'Hawks - I'm assuming Claude will do something to completely screw up that series against Philly. Get ready to see highlights of that 0-3 comeback. If yaaaaa smmmmellll what Claude (Giroux) is cookin'.
Hahaha, Lebron beating the Celtics, you are a funny dude. The B's losing to Philly is one thing, but at least they took care of America Jr. All you did was weaken a country Tuesday, that's all you did. Keep living in last year, and watch as the thousands of Claud-o-maniacs run wild over you!
Jeff, another great post. I've been a huge hockey fan for a cuople of yaers now and being a teenage girl none of my friends really care about hockey at all. So when I found this blog at the begining of the season I fell in love with it. The quality of the discussions were outstanding and you and Tim are both very good writers. Please keep the posts coming throughout the summer with any blackhawk news!